Accreditation

PRSA DETROIT’S 2020 APR PREP SESSION SUPPORT

Have you always wanted to become accredited but struggled to find the time to devote to the APR Prep Session? You’re in luck – with accreditation prep resources online, you can go through the material at your own pace.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

Fill out the form to the right and click “View Resources” to access PRSA Detroit’s library of presentations on communications theories, crisis communications/media relations, ethics, law, programming and research that will help guide you through the APR process. Once you have access to the online module, we recommend you view the 2020 Accreditation Overview first. This will outline all the information you’ll need to decide whether now is the right time for you to go through the APR process.      

Following review of this presentation, we recommend you view Research APR Prep parts 1-5 and Public Relations Programming. These presentations will give you important information you can use when filling out your panel presentation candidate questionnaire, which is a requirement for the process.  The remaining presentations may be viewed at your leisure.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M INTERESTED IN ACCREDITATION?

Turn in your APR application to PRSA National and alert PRSA Detroit that you are going to go through the process. 

Follow the key dates for the Detroit 2020 timeline, noted below, and view additional preparation resources available on the PRSA National website.

 

KEY DATES FOR 2020*

  • April 23 at noon: APR overview via call or webinar; details to be provided soon
  • June 10: For participation in the Detroit 2020 timeline, have your APR application turned in to PRSA National* and alert PRSA Detroit that you’re going through the process. Once you are accepted by PRSA National, you will have one year to complete the process, which includes the questionnaire, panel presentation and computer-based exam.
  • July 29: Panel presentation candidate questionnaires must completed and turned in to [email protected] and [email protected]
  • Week of August 10: Panel presentations will be scheduled. If you advance from your presentation, you will be informed by PRSA National via a letter. At that time, you may schedule your test when it is appropriate for you. As a reminder, you must take and pass the exam within one year of your application being approved by National.
  • November (date TBD): Candidates who pass the APR accreditation process within the Detroit 2020 timeline are invited to join their PR peers to receive their APR pin at the Detroit Chapter’s annual meeting. 

*Please note: If possible, it is recommended you begin studying for the APR before you apply. This will help inform your questionnaire and panel presentation.

Get Started Earning Your APR

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MENTORS

If you need support on your APR journey, we have a list of PRSA Detroit APRs who are willing to mentor candidates through the process. Please contact the Detroit PRSA Committee co-chairs, and we will connect you with a local APR to assist you with any questions you may have about the process.


WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?

Established in 1964, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential is the public relations profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The APR designation signifies a high level of skill and competency in the Public Relations field.


WHO CAN PURSUE THE APR?

Accreditation is recommended for candidates who have at least five years of experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations and who have earned either a bachelor’s degree in a communications-related field or have equivalent work experience. However, any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning Accreditation.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION?

  • A Recognized Standard – The APR designation is widely known and respected and the only national post-graduate certification program.
  • Enhanced Knowledge & Skills – The APR process refreshes and/or enhances your public relations knowledge and skills. No matter what college degree you may have earned or what practice area your career is focused on, with Accreditation, it is back to the basics! The process builds the fundamental knowledge critical to our field. This information can be applied to your practice of public relations, making you an even better practitioner.
  • A Potential Edge in the Job Market – If you find yourself in the job market, the APR designation is a nice “stamp of approval,” per say, on your resume. It demonstrates that you have a high level of experience and competency in the field, and it’s a nice talking point for your interviews with potential employers.
  • PR for PR – Overall, the APR designation helps move the public relations profession forward, which benefits all of us in this industry. As more of us become Accredited, the overall perception and respect for our industry improves.
  • Personal Satisfaction – Earning Accreditation is a challenge, and something you’ll be very proud of when you have completed the process!

BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION

  • Signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.
  • Enhances a practitioner’s approach to project planning as well as daily implementation skills.
  • Broadens the knowledge of practitioners working in very specialized public relations fields.
  • Demonstrates interest, determination and commitment to self-improvement.
  • Elevates the profession in stature as the number of accredited public relations practitioners grows.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN EARNING ACCREDITATION?

Earning Accreditation involves the following steps:

  • Application to the Universal Accreditation Board – a formal application with payment
  • Participation in the Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire/Review – based on professional experience and comprehensive PR plan Panel Presentation – formal presentation to a panel of three local Accredited members of PRSA; the presentation includes a portfolio that highlights a comprehensive public relations program or initiative that you have completed during your career in a paid or volunteer position
  • Computer Exam– multiple-choice examination

Detailed information about each of the steps to earning Accreditation can be found at PRSA.org.


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN ACCREDITATION?

Candidates have up to one year from the date of application approval to complete the testing process. While candidates typically complete the first several steps of Accreditation on a specific schedule set up by the PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee, the computer-based exam is taken “on demand” at the candidate’s discretion.

Earning Accreditation requires preparation, reading and studying over the course of several months. Even seasoned professionals should be prepared to approach the Accreditation process as an academic exercise.


WHAT MATERIAL DOES THE EXAMINATION COVER?

The Accreditation examination covers the following topics:

  • Research; planning, implementing and evaluating programs
  • Business literacy, problem solving and leadership
  • Managing relationships
  • Ethics and law
  • Crisis communication management
  • Communication models, theories and history 

I’M ALREADY ACCREDITED. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO MAINTAIN MY ACCREDITATION?

To maintain your Accreditation, you must be a member of PRSA or another organization recognized by the Universal Accreditation Board. In addition, you must keep your PR knowledge and skills fresh by accumulating points in continuing education and professional development, professionalism or public service. You must submit documentation of these activities to PRSA National every three years, along with a $50 fee.

Visit PRSA.org for detailed information about maintaining Accreditation.


WHAT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

For more information about Accreditation, contact any of the following individuals:

 

PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee:

Jen Mrozowski, APR (co-chair) – [email protected] 

Kristin Sokul, APR (co-chair) – [email protected]

Jennifer Wilt, APR – [email protected]     

 

APR Committee Board Liaison

Cynthia Carey, APR – [email protected]

 

PRSA National Manager of Accreditation:

Kathy Mulvihill – [email protected] (212.460.1436)